Higgs On Horses

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6th November

There has been lots of good quality National Hunt racing recently and with plenty of rain around the big guns are starting to ply their trade. I have been racing a fair bit recently and enjoying the up and coming jockeys learn their trade in the public eye.

Eighteen months to two years ago it was all about Sean And James Bowen.  They are ‘old hat’ now as a new tranche of young Welsh jockeys are coming through, in particular Connor Brace, Ben Jones and Jack Tudor. They all still currently claim weight as conditionals and their careers have progressed through the Pony Racing and Point To Point circuits. It is an excellent grounding and they are all efficiently booting home the winners. In particular Ben Jones, who won on Gumball last Saturday for team Hobbs claiming a valuable 5lb weight allowance, he made all to land a Listed Hurdle at Ascot in the colours of Terry Warner, bringing back memories of the great Rooster Booster.

Talking of young jockeys and colours, young Somerset jockey Tom Buckley had a day he will never forget last Friday when he secured an eleventh career success at Wetherby on a horse named No Trumps – what’s so special you may ask?

Well, the horse is owned by none other than Her Majesty The Queen! a photo to add to the Buckley photo album no doubt.

Enough of the jockeys, let’s chat horses.  In my book you have to go all the way to Carlisle on Sunday for the West Country performance of the weekend and that was by Lostintranslation. He was favourite, made all, jumped well and drew clear on the bit. There were only four runners but it was the manner in which he won, over a distance that would be short enough for him. He has always been very highly regarded by team Tizzard and he again franked the form of the JLT Chase at Cheltenham last March in which he came runner up to Defi Du Seuil. It looks like the hottest race of last season’s Festival and when you see that race in the form lines, take note.

As I write it looks like the new Taunton Racecourse Owners Club horse Forever Des Long will be running at Wincanton on Saturday on Badger Ales Day. It is where we started with last season’s horse and Taunton winner, At It’s Own Expense, if this fella is as good as him, we will have some great fun. There are still some places available in the Club, so if you would like further details please get in touch by emailing businessclub@tauntonracecourse.co.uk or call Martin on 07831 752056.


On Saturday, Wincanton hold their traditional Badger Ales meeting with Paul Nicholls bidding for a tenth victory in the feature and his Present Man going for a hat-trick in the race. Good luck to them and it will bring the house down if they succeed, however heart can’t rule head in this game and there is a horse running in it by the name of Cloth Cap. He was third in the Scottish National at the end of last term and off a handicap mark of 136 he looks geared up to run a big race having had a pipe-opener at Chepstow 28 days ago. He does need good ground though, so watch the weather, but at 10/1 there are worse bets in the race.

PS.. For those of you wondering how I took England’s defeat in the World Cup, having been sat on a 7/1 bet for nine months, well I would ask Mrs H, the junior H’s and the neighbours, if you see them..it would be fair to say the only person to benefit was the local landlord of the Dog & Duck on the Saturday evening. From now on I am sticking to the nags, the pain only lasts 8 minutes max as opposed to the length of time it takes to have a baby !!!